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July 22nd, 2013
Open Source Geospatial Lab to Support Smarter Cities will be built at the University of Melbourne

The Laboratory will undertake research and provide training resources which utilises digital data and analytical and visualisation tools to up-skill a myriad of disciplines in evidenced based decision-making practices. Training will be delivered both into existing University curriculum and through a series of workshops and short-courses.

The laboratory is expected to attract considerable interest from urban geographers, spatial scientists, planners and policy-makers who are keen to contribute to and learn about the latest available data driven techniques to support evidenced based decision-making. The laboratory will utilise the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). AURIN is a $20 million open source e-infrastructure initiative which is unlocking datasets of relevance to Australia’s cities and providing an analytical toolkit to inform sustainable urban futures.

The software used to support activities of the laboratory is open source, meaning the source code can be modified and re-distributed royalty and fee free. This open source geospatial laboratory is a joint initiative of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

The laboratory will see scientists and practitioners from the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) collaborate closely with University colleagues. This Australian facility will be part of a global network of open geospatial research labs known as ICA-OSGeo labs. Currently there are 22 ICA-OSGeo labs operating globally.

Dr Christopher Pettit, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Victorian Chair of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and Strategic Implementation Coordinator of AURIN will lead the initiative.

“The University of Melbourne is one of the top research universities in the world and has been a pioneer in Australian geospatial science research,” said Professor Tom Kvan, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. “We are delighted to collaborate with the ICA and OSGeo to create this opportunity for our students and researchers, which will encourage open geospatial teaching and related research in other universities.”

The facility will open in September 2013.